Winterlude is the spectacular annual festival which spans across Ottawa and Gatineau and celebrates all things winter! The Lord Elgin Hotel has the pleasure of being located across Confederation Park – a hotspot during the festival, where the park transforms into a winter wonderland.
During Winterlude, Confederation Park is filled with ice sculptures, all of which are created by internationally acclaimed ice carvers. During the day, everyone is welcome to walk around the park taking in the sights, enjoying hot chocolate and all the other winter treats that are available. At night, the park transforms into a beautifully illuminated ice palace, with each sculpture having lights showcasing their every detail. On the weekends, the stage is filled with performers and DJ’s all there to help celebrate winter. Just last week, Thunder Bay native, Coleman Hell performed on stage at the Winterlude kick-off party.
Having had a front row ticket to all of the festivities over the years, the Lord Elgin Hotel finally wanted to get in on the fun and the annual ice bench photo contest was born. Starting five years ago, the hotel contracts new ice carvers yearly to create a unique ice bench, which is always situated outside the lovely Grill 41. Each year the ice bench looks completely different, but one thing remains the same – it always manages to pull a crowd. From families and couples to kids and adults, many Winterlude goers and passersby take photos of the ice bench.
The ice bench isn’t only perk the hotel offers, anyone who posts a photo of the bench along with #MyLordElgin is entered in to win a romantic getaway package! The contest starts as soon as the ice bench is completed, which usually coincides with the kick-off of Winterlude and ends on February 20. Each year the contest gets many entries, not only from Ottawa residents but also from tourists visiting the city! The winner is chosen by a random draw so everyone has a chance to win.
The staff at the hotel love to see the passersby outside sharing a fun moment with their families and friends while posing for photos on the ice bench. The staff believes it is a great way to participate in all the Winterlude entertainment and to engage the neighborhood!
“It gives me great pleasure to sit in Grill 41 overlooking the patio and watch everyone take their ‘winterlude’ photos on our bench! We have become part of that ‘Winterlude’ experience, which is so unique and special!” says Ann Meelker.
The contest is currently underway and everyone is welcome to participate. All you need to do is stop by the Lord Elgin Hotel and take a picture of the ice bench. Everyone is encouraged to sit and pose on the bench! This year’s contest winter will be announced on February 20. The Lord Elgin teams hopes that everyone has as much fun with the bench as they do!
– Terina (the intern)
Tomorrow officially kicks off the 2017 Winterlude Festival. It is that very special time of year when we get to be front and center to all the great festivities of this unique festival and one of my very favorite times in the hotel.
Hard to imagine this festival has been around for 38 years. It has become a signature event for Ottawa and other cities have tried to replicate it, but no one has been quite able to capture the magic, as no one has the amazing Rideau Canal that courses through the city and creates this amazing LARGEST skating surface in the world!! Quite the claim!!
Today we are getting ready… ensuring all our rooms are ready for what should be a sold out hotel. The Ice carvings out front of the hotel are being put into place and given those last minute shavings. Our staff tomorrow will all be sporting ‘Winterlude’ attire and we will be staffed to the hilt ready for the first weekend!
Of course, Valentines Day always falls over this same period and our Valentines package is always a huge hit! It is the perfect answer to what to get for your Valentine. It is a crazy time for staff, as there are a lot of moving parts (chocolate dipped strawberries, sparkling wine, breakfast etc etc), but always lovely to welcome all the love birds!
So, bring it on…we are ready for you!!!